Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are living in a time of uncertainty. Nobody knows how family members, friends, individual business, or the economy will be affected. As a team leader, this provides an additional source of stress. To help your team navigate through these unprecedented times, you need to provide open, honest communication along with a plan for moving forward day by day. Showing you’re prepared to help your staff through this challenging time will help calm and reassure them that things will get better.

Here are five things your team needs from you to make it through COVID-19.

1. Information from Company Executives

Regularly share information from senior leadership in your company. Provide a written overview of what’s happening, guidance from management on next steps, and links to relevant policies, procedures, or individuals. Remind your employees that situations continue to evolve and information will be shared as quickly as possible.   Don’t forget to include your temporary or contract workers.

2. A Sense of Community

Focus on your team’s mental and emotional well-being by fostering a sense of community. Send an encouraging morning message or video to everyone. Set up times for members to virtually get together for meditation or yoga. Publicize employee resources like mental health hotlines to address stress. Remind staff to support each other.  Implement fun aspects to your video meetings – one of our clients had their team were silly hats! Some have even done fitness classes as a group.

3. Tips for Working Remotely

If your teammates aren’t used to working from home, they may need your help adjusting. They may struggle with prioritizing what to do and staying focused on their tasks. Encourage team members to tackle their hardest work at the start of each day. Because this type of work puts a greater demand on their mental capacity, it requires uninterrupted time to completely focus. Suggest saving tasks that require less mental energy for the afternoon, when everyone’s state of focus tends to be lower.

4. Encouragement to Provide Feedback

Let your team know you want their feedback to improve the work environment. Ensure they have everything necessary to feel safe while working from home. Some concerns may include having the proper technical support, feeling healthy and safe, protecting emotional well-being, and receiving employee benefits. Other issues may involve financial challenges, child care requirements, elderly parent needs, and other external pressures. Although your company may not be able to address all of the concerns that your employees are facing, be aware of and compassionate about them. Be realistic in your expectations. Many will be juggling multiple hats.

5. Optimism

Model positive behavior about current circumstances and the future. Individually and collectively point out members’ contributions to the team. Find ways to motivate teammates to keep moving forward. Remind everyone to be grateful for specific things throughout the day.

Focus on the Well-Being of Your Accounting & Finance Staff

The health and safety of your accounting and finance team is a top priority. If you’re in Western Canada and need temporary remote workers to fill in for accounting and finance employees who are unable to work right now, contact Mercer Bradley. We can connect you with qualified professionals ready to begin working remotely. Contact us today.

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